Anterior semicircular canal benign paroxysmal positional vertigo and positional downbeating nystagmus.
The aim of this study was to describe the clinical features and video-oculographic findings in patients with anterior semicircular canal benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). This is a prospective case series. The study was set at an outpatient clinic in a general hospital. Fourteen individuals with symptoms of BPPV and positional downbeating nystagmus (pDBN) were included in the study. The diagnosis was based on a history of brief episodes of vertigo and the presence of pDBN confirmed in the video-oculographic examination during Dix-Hallpike test (DH) or head-hanging maneuver. Patients were treated by particle repositioning maneuver and the effectiveness was evaluated at 7, 30, and 180 days posttreatment. The treatment was repeated up to 4 times if pDBN was persistent. The main outcome measure is the number of patients without pDBN at 30 and 180 days. Video-oculography showed a predominant pDBN in response to DH. Of the 14 patients, 7 had arterial hypertension, and 5 of 14 cases presented abnormalities on the caloric test. Horizontal spontaneous nystagmus was found in 3 of 14 individuals. Positional nystagmus at different positional test was observed in 5 of 14 individuals, suggesting the involvement of several canals. Of the 14 patients, 10 (71%) did not present vertigo, and the positional tests were negative at 30 days. However, 3 cases presented a positive DH with persistence of BPPV episodes and pDBN at 30 days, and another developed a contralateral posterior canal affectation. One of the patients maintained a persistent pDBN at 180 days despite the repeated maneuvers. Video-oculography demonstrates that anterior canal BPPV is characterized by a predominant downbeating nystagmus in response to DH. These individuals may show alterations in the vestibular caloric, and they can have multicanal affectation.